The Shake-down on Salt!

The fact is: Americans definitely use too much salt!

The average daily intake of sodium in the US is around 3,400 mg. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends less than 2,300 mg of sodium for adults. The American Heart Association recommends less than 1,500 mg – especially for those with hypertension (high blood pressure). Where is all of this salt coming from? Why do we need to limit our salt intake? Here are the facts about sodium.

High blood pressure is the silent killer. We do not usually feel the effects of high blood pressure. The fact remains – salt stays in our bloodstream placing extra strain on the heart. Excess salt attracts water causing a larger blood volume for the heart to pump – and weight gain on the scale! Undetected high blood pressure can increase the risk of cardiac events such as a heart attack or stroke.

A single teaspoon of added salt (from the salt shaker) contributes almost 2,400 mg of sodium! (OVER THE DAILY LIMIT!) Salt also comes in our foods –such as prepackaged or frozen meals and other food items. Here are some simple tips to cut back on salt!

1. Choose Fresh! Choose fresh or frozen vegetables without added salt and preservatives. Limit your intake of canned vegetables.

2. Choose Low-Sodium Condiments and Soups. Soy sauce has a high sodium content. Opt for oil and vinegar over highly processed salad dressings.

Make your own soup at home – or add frozen veggies to canned soup to make more servings. Canned soup is very high in sodium and the serving size is usually small.

3. Watch your deli meats! Deli lunch meat is a major source of sodium due to the high level of processing. Choose to cook and prepare your own meat (chicken or turkey) – it is much more filling with less sodium.

4. Don’t forget about bread! Bread is made with salt! There is about 2,400 mg of sodium in each loaf of bread! This does not mean you should be cutting carbohydrates – but opt for other low sodium whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal!

5. Eat our sparingly! Add restaurant food is very high in sodium (especially the lower calorie dishes!) Even take-out food such as pizza will have you sipping on water for a few days! Try to prepare most of your meals at home using healthy cooking techniques.

If you have high blood pressure, or are in need of additional information regarding sodium – be sure to call today to set up a FREE Nutritional Consultation with our Registered Dietitian! (330) 702-1311. You can also visit our website to see testimonials of clients who have used diet and exercise to better their health today!

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Posted by on January 28, 2013. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry